“A gentle hand may lead even an elephant by a hair.” — Iranian Proverb
The playing characters began the session at Camp Vengeance where they assisted Order of the Gauntlet agents in fortifying the outpost by adding water basins filled with conjured fresh water, conjured food, and other needful resources summoned by spellcasters. The company (Arlan Strangeways, Vrea’ ree Everurden, Tessa, Loral, and Serva) was introduced to agents from Camp Vengeance including: Fee Fee the Half Elf, The Wizard Emanuel Can, Verner the Gnome, Laleth the Druid, Killeli The Kobold, Edgar the Wild Mage and Augerbucket the Dwarf. The two groups talked about recent events surrounding the Death Curse.
Vrea’ree received a message from Syndra Silvane asking them not to continue the mission to Castle Adikos but instead to go into the jungles near the Aldania Basin (also known as The Swamp of Sorrows) in order to seek a lost city called Omu. There, she explained, they may be able to discover the source of the Death Curse. She stated that Wakanga would be instead mounting an expedition to Castle Adikos to seek out and recover any artifacts remaining within its ancient halls.
With this information in hand, Vree’ree was determined to return to the floating citadel. He discussed this course of action with his compatriots, convincing them that they should once again defy Syndra Silvane’s wishes and do the opposite of what she asked by returning to the castle. In turn, Verner convinced Commander Breakbone to send agents of the Order of the Gauntlet with the mercenaries to Castle Adikos. Within a short amount of time, the adventurers all teleported back to the floating castle.
The group appeared back at the gates of the castle, confronted by three death knights. These creatures of undeath were once paladins who swore oaths to protect the castle. Having failed their oaths in life, they are now sworn to fulfill the oath in the afterlife. Having battled one of their kind before, Arlan and Vree’ree explained that they could not be reasoned with and would have to be destroyed. Defeating them, Arlan explained, released them from their unholy oath and allowed them to rest in peace. And so combat ensued until finally only one of them remained. The death knight dropped to one knee, preparing to unburden himself to the adventurers. Before he could finish his first sentence, Verner jumped forward and blasted the creäture in the face with a Thundermonger shell from his Artificer Thunder Cannon.
Having defeated the guardians of the Castle, the group made their way through the castle and returned to the marble and obsidian octagonal room. On the floor was etched (in gold) the Pescheour family crest, but this time it featured a silver sword and a kingfisher. From here they noticed that four very large doors stood along the room’s far wall, all made of some kind of dark, almost black wood and reinforced with iron studs. To the far right hand side of the room stood a staircase that led down several hundred feet to end at a landing in front of two large wrought-iron doors. Behind the doors gleamed a bright red light that filtered through the cracks in the doorway, spilling out along the floor like blood.
Augerbucket used her skill with lockpicking tools and trapfinding to check each of the doors. She was impressed by the size of each but found none of the doors to be trapped in any way. However, the last of the four doors were locked with a strange push-button combination numbered 1 through 6. Fee Fee, Verner, and Emanuel Can talked about how to solve the riddle while the others searched the other rooms.
The first room was the Pescheour family shrine to Tyr, the god of justice. It was a simple altar constructed of blocks of white marble and black obsidian placed at the far end of the room from the doorway. Nearby sat a wide brazier filled with dimly glowing embers; on the floor sat several bulging sacks of coal. The rest of the room was bare. Edgar refilled the brazier, filling the room with a soft glow, creating the effect of a Holy Aura. Meanwhile, Loral bowed down and prayed to Tyr for help and guidance.
Although the adventurers could not know it, this was the very shrine that the paladins swore their oaths to protect this castle and its contents. It was tended by Princess Jeschute, the only daughter of King Pescheour.
The second room was a furnished with a simple frame bed and mattress, a narrow wardrobe filled with plain robes and boots, and a wooden washstand with a clay basin and pitcher, topped by an unadorned glass mirror. A large wooden chest lay at the foot of the bed.
Again, the heroes could not know it but this was the Princess’s room. She lived alone attending to the shrine and recording information about the dogma of Tyr. The wooden chest smashed into pieces by Fee Fee during the search, contained Jeschute’s books and scrolls written before the castle was cursed.
The third room required the party to solve a puzzle to open the lock. Edgar used his knowledge of Arcana to determine that the lock’s code was related to mathematical theory. With some trial and error, the adventurers discovered that by pressing down the Prime number symbols 2, 3, 5 it would unlock the door which revealed a cache of treasure.
Again, the explorers could not know this but it was a collection of the wealth and treasure belonging to the paladins who swore to protect the castle. Before they would make their oaths, they would place their worldly possessions within the room, becoming the property of the Order of Pescheour. The explorers poured through the collection, discussing what they might do with their newly discovered loot.
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